Donald “Don” F. Kennedy 1935-2021

Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Donald “Don” F. Kennedy 1935-2021

Donald “Don” F. Kennedy (also known as Dad, Pa, Daddyo, Grandpa, Papa Don, Gramps, Big Bad Don, and Downhill Don) of Dillon, Montana, passed away on Sept. 2, 2021, at his home. He was 84. He was a husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on Nov. 26, 1935, one of three children, born to Virginia Margaret and Walter Donald Kennedy. He was a 1953 graduate of Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Missouri. He attended college at Missouri School of Mines in Rolla, Missouri and graduated with an engineering degree in mining in 1958. He served in the United States Army Reserve. He married Ann C. Kidwell on April 19, 1958. They were married 59 years, just missing their 60th wedding anniversary by four months, after Ann passed away in 2017.

After graduating from college and marrying in 1958, Don and Ann lived in Colorado, Montana, Lima, Peru, South America, back to Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, back to Montana, Georgia, and finally back to his favorite place, Montana. His engineering career brought him to many places around the world. Ann and Don also did extensive travel together during their marriage; traveling was a huge part of their lives (too many places to name). He also had a great love of music. Don really enjoyed the outdoors; he was an avid hiker, camper, skier, golfer, biker, hunter, and fisherman. He continued to do most of these activities almost his entire life. Ann and Don always loved to play board and card games together and with their family. Don played daily cribbage with his best friend, Jon Yeager, up until the week he passed away. Ann and Don were always big volunteers from Scouts to Don playing Henry Plummer for the Bannack reenactment of Plummer’s hanging. He really played the part well, with his grey beard and mustache, tall height, and buffalo coat.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Ann; brother Walter Duncan Kennedy; and sister, Mary Beth Nardoni.

He is survived by his six children: Mary Hoffman (Larry), Ginger Garrison (Robert), Chris Kennedy, Nancy Mehring, Barbara Cervelli (John), and David Kennedy (Alejandra); his 11 grandchildren: Sally, Valerie, Jake, Nicole, Conner, Cooper, Cole, Lauren, DeLacey, Corban, and Lydia; his four great-grandchildren: Ali, Elias, Abbas, and Tristan.

Don had the sharpest memory his entire life; his six kids were confident that he remembered any and all details better than the six of them put together! Don loved to share colorful stories from his life and his many amazing adventures. He remembered every person’s name he met. Don was an incredible mentor and positive influence on his children and grandchildren, giving straightforward advice. He will be missed very much by all who knew him. Dad: celebrate having a wonderful, joyous reunion with Mom.

As Don requested, there will be a later service with his immediate family. Don and Ann’s ashes will be spread together in their special place in the Montana woods, near Price Creek.